Corporate Responsibility at RELX, 2021 Highlights



RELX is a provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers, enabling them to make better decisions, get better results and be more productive.

The RELX purpose is to benefit society by developing products that help researchers advance scientific knowledge; doctors and nurses improve the lives of patients; lawyers promote the rule of law and achieve justice and fair results for their clients; businesses and governments prevent fraud; consumers access financial services and get fair prices on insurance; and customers learn about markets and complete transactions. RELX calls these unique contributions, which are at the heart of the business. To be a leading company means acting with corporate responsibility (CR); that is, with the highest ethical standards, while channeling their strengths to make a difference.

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Unique Contributions:

  • LexisNexis Risk Solutions provides essential insight to protect people and industry
  • Elsevier contributes to advancing human welfare and economic progress through its science and health information tools and analytics
  • LexisNexis Legal & Professional promotes justice through its legal intelligence and analytics
  • RX fosters communities, enhancing productivity and efficiency

Each year RELX works tirelessly to achieve their objectives and accelerate their unique contributions, and here are the highlights of year 2021:

  • Investor and Other Recognition
    • MSCI ESG Rating assessment - AAA Rating
    • Sustainalytics ESG Risk Rating
      • Global Universe: 11th out of 14,000+
      • Media: 1st out of 298
  • 2021 LexisNexis Risk Solutions (LNRS) Highlights
    • In 2021, LNRS and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) used the ADAM Programme to distribute over 1.7 million alerts for over 1,800 missing children cases, which led to the recovery of 5 missing children during the year.
    • RiskView, a credit risk management tool from LNRS, continued to widen financial inclusion for marginalised groups by providing alternative data sets not in traditional credit reports.
    • ThreatMatrix, another credit risk management tool from LNRS, derives alternative data that can be used to assess risk from consumers who use smartphones, helping more citizens gain access to credit. In 2021, two pilots were extended in Colombia and three new pilots were launched in Mexico.
  • 2021 Elsevier Highlights
    • Elsevier continued to broaden its access to its content by supporting programmes including Research4Life, for which Elsevier is a leading contributor and provides 20% of the available material. There were 1m Research4Life downloads from ScienceDirect in 2021.
    • In serving the global scientific research community, Elsevier published over 600,000 articles in 2021.
    • To aid in the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021, Elsevier hosted a free programme on demystifying the Covid-19 Vaccines and launched the free India Covid-19 Healthcare Hub, extending the Covid-19 Healthcare Hub launched in 2020.
    • To bridge the clinical practice gap in low-income countries, the Elsevier Foundation continued its partnership with Amref Health Africa on the LEAP programme, scaling mobile learning for healthcare workers in Ethiopia, including a comprehensive Covid-19 training module.
    • Elsevier supports partnerships to advance inclusion and diversity in science, research in developing countries and global health, which encompasses a collaboration with the Julius L Chambers Biomedical Biotechnology Research Institute at North Carolina Central University, to facilitate the adoption of evidence-based interventions to address health disparities.
    • Irene Walsh, Chief Design Officer of Elsevier’s 3D4Medical, works with leading 3D artists, medical experts, developers and designers to bring human anatomy to life in Complete Anatomy — an educational platform that enables students to interact in-depth with body systems.
  • 2021 LexisNexis Legal & Professional Highlights
    • In response to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, LexisNexis Legal & Professional South Africa has continued to support access to justice through an electronic court system; it previously provided courts across the country with Wi-Fi connectivity to ensure the optimal functionality of a digital system.
    • In the year, LexisNexis PatentSight, an intellectual property analytics solution, mapped the global patent system to the SDGs. This new, objective measure gives organisations a view of the global innovation landscape.
    • In 2021, we ran Rule of Law Cafes in the UK, the Philippines, Malaysia, and South Africa.
    • In the year, LexisNexis Legal & Professional launched a fellowship programme, in partnership with the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Law School Consortium, as part of its commitment to eliminate systemic racism in legal systems and further enhance the company’s culture of inclusion and diversity.
    • The International Bar Association (IBA) and the LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation are collaborating on an ambitious, first of its kind long-term research project to identify disparity in representation between men and women at senior levels in the legal profession on a global scale.
    • LexisNexis Legal & Professional also partners with the IBA on the eyeWitness to Atrocities App, which assists human rights defenders in documenting and reporting human rights abuses in a secure and verifiable way so information can be used as court evidence.
  • 2021 RX Highlights
    • In the year, RX released the second part of a White Paper on Covid-19 and how it has affected the event industry.
    • In January 2021, RX Global pledged $1 million over the next five years to selected not-for-profit organisations around the world committed to promoting racial equality.
    • At the 2021 MIPTV television market, RX France presented its second annual MIP SDG Award which honours media companies for their contribution to delivering the SDGs. The 2021 award was dedicated to Goal 10 (Reduced Inequalities) and was awarded to A+E Networks for their long-standing commitment to equality, justice, inclusion and diversity.
    • In the lead up to the COP26 climate change meeting, RX organised the Dcarbonise Week Virtual Summit. This free to attend series of online events provided knowledge, inspiration and advice to attendees on lowering their carbon impact with themes covering low carbon energy, agriculture and sustainable tourism.
    • In the year, RX partnered with peers and industry bodies UFI and JMIC to launch a net zero carbon pledge for the events industry. It commits RX to a 50% reduction in total global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
  • 2021 Cross-RELX Highlights
    • Recognising that across RELX we have products, services, tools and events that advance the UN’s 17 SDGs, we created the free RELX SDG Resource Centre in 2017 to advance awareness, knowledge and implementation.
    • 2021 marked the eleventh year of the RELX Environmental Challenge, focused on providing improved and sustainable access to water and sanitation where it is presently at risk.



Our Board recognises the importance of maintaining high standards of corporate governance, which underpins our ability to deliver consistent financial performance and value to our stakeholders. It is consistent with our wider RELX culture of acting with integrity in all that we do. RELX PLC is the sole parent company of the Group. It owns 100% of the shares in RELX Group plc which, in turn, holds all of the operating businesses, subsidiaries and financing activities of the Group. RELX PLC, its subsidiaries, associates and joint ventures are together known as RELX.

  • Policies and Codes
    • The RELX Operating and Governance Principles provide a framework of processes, policies, and controls to manage risk.
    • The RELX Code of Ethics and Business Conduct (the Code) sets the standards for behaviour for all employees of RELX.
    • Employees receive mandatory training on the Code – both as new hires and regularly throughout their employment – on topics such as maintaining a respectful workplace, preventing bribery and anti-competitive behaviour, and protecting personal and company data.
    • We offer employees a confidential reporting line, managed by an independent third party, accessible by telephone or online 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to report violations of the code.
    • We remained diligent in our ongoing efforts to comply with applicable bribery and sanctions laws and mitigate risks in these areas. Our anti-bribery and sanctions programme includes testing and monitoring of compliance with detailed, risk-based internal policies and procedures on topics such as doing business with government officials, gift and entertainment limits, gift registers and complex sanctions requirements.
    • We held a Compliance Week in November with videos, emails, articles and a quiz.
    • As a signatory to the UNGC, we embed its principles, encompassing human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption in key policies including our Code and our Supplier Code.
  • Data Privacy
    • As a company focused on knowledge and analytics, each year we are in possession of large amounts of data. It is therefore incumbent on RELX to ensure that we provide our customers and our people with the highest levels of data privacy and security as described in our Privacy Principles available here. We continually monitor our procedures and systems to meet this requirement, ensuring adherence with all relevant laws where we do business around the world.
  • Cyber Security
    • In 2021, we continued efforts to increase the resilience of the company to attacks aimed at our users. We ran monthly phishing simulations for all employees, with results significantly better than the corresponding industry benchmarks. Using advanced technology controls, we blocked approximately 40 million unwanted emails in just one month from our users, including 5.9 million phishing attacks and 65,000 detection resistant attacks.
  • Responsible Tax
    • Globally, in 2021, RELX paid £342m in corporate taxes. We are a responsible corporate taxpayer and conduct our tax affairs to ensure compliance with all laws and relevant regulations in the countries in which we operate.


People and Community

Valuing our people, one of our five values, means being known as an employer of choice, with excellence in recruiting and retaining the best staff. By being a company where employees can do their best work, we can achieve our objectives and meet the expectations of our customers and other stakeholders.

    • Our over 33,000 people are our strength. Our workforce is 50% women and 50% men, with an average length of service of 8 years. There were 44% women and 56% men managers, and 33% women and 67% men senior leaders.
    • At year-end 2021, women made up 45% of the Board. One member, in line with the UK Parker Review, is from a minority ethnic background. The two executive directors on the Board are men.
    • At year end, 18% of RELX senior executives were from ethnic minority backgrounds. 26% of all employees in the US and UK were from ethnic minority backgrounds.
  • Inclusion
    • Our Inclusion Council, which includes the heads of Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) for each of our businesses, helps us set our inclusion and diversity strategy and track its implementation, supported by an Inclusion Working Group with nearly 300 participants. The RELX strategy team host an I&D Data Steering Committee to understand trends in our diversity data.
    • RELX was a 2021 Bloomberg Gender Equality Index constituent and was included in the top 25 for gender equality in the Netherlands as ranked by Equileap.
    • Our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) grew to over 100 networks in the year.
    • To celebrate Diversity Awareness Month in October, we held our third inclusion and diversity conference, RISE, with more than 1,100 attendees and 20 hours of programming to allow involvement of colleagues across multiple time zones.
  • Pay Equity
    • We comply with employee-related reporting requirements and, in 2021, our business areas published UK gender pay gap reports as part of UK legislation. We invest in research to identify causes of pay differences and regularly evaluate our policies and processes to ensure they are aligned to our inclusion strategy. We conducted living wage assessments in France, India and the Philippines.
    • In 2021, our workforce comprised 96% full time employees. 1% of all employees were temporary workers and over 1,000 were contingent workers. We estimate the total hours worked to be approximately 52m hours in the year. Our total turnover rate was 15.8%; the voluntary turnover rate was 12.5% and the involuntary rate was 3.3%.
  • Well-Being
    • Our employees have the right to a healthy and safe workplace, as outlined in our Global Health and Safety Policy. We concentrate on areas of greatest risk, for example warehouses, events and exhibitions.
    • We have dedicated health and wellbeing resources available to employees across all business areas and we maintain a network of more than 100 wellbeing champions. In the year, we progressed a Mental Health Policy to ensure a healthy culture with emphasis on positive wellbeing.
    • Employee engagement increased 13 points to 68% compared to the last company-wide survey three years earlier.
    • RELX Cares, our global community programme, supports employee volunteering and giving that makes a positive impact on society.
    • Staff have up to two days paid leave per year for their own community work. We donated £5.5m in cash (including through matching gifts) and the equivalent of £15.1m in products, services and staff time in 2021. Globally, 32% of employees were engaged in volunteering through RELX Cares. A network of over 220 RELX Cares Champions ensures the vibrancy of our community engagement.
    • In 2021 we reached our target to raise $120,000 to support global fundraising partner, Hope and Homes for Children (HHC), which aims to ensure children grow up in families rather than institutions.
    • Each September, we hold RELX Cares Month to celebrate our community engagement. During the month, we held the eleventh Recognising Those Who Care Awards to highlight exceptional contributors to RELX Cares.
    • In 2021, we contributed over 182,000 books to Book Aid International and Books for Africa worth over $12.4 million.



  • Improving customer outcomes: Listening to our customers allows us to deepen our understanding of their needs and drive improvements. In the year, with input from the customer insight leads across our business, we calculated a RELX-wide customer satisfaction metric showing that in 2021, 82.9% of customers would recommend RELX businesses.
  • Further engagement with customers on the SDGs: In 2021, we continued the RELX SDG Customer Awards to recognise the exceptional efforts of our customers who share RELX’s ambition to advance the SDGs.
  • Accessibility
    • In 2021, members of the Accessibility Working Group logged over 150 accessibility projects and Elsevier’s Global Books Digital Archive fulfilled more than 3,200 disability requests, 92% of them through, a service we helped establish. We also developed the Accessibility Maturity Model, a tool to define and assess accessibility best practice and implementation across the group.
    • In the year, we celebrated the third RELX Accessibility Leadership Awards to showcase employees who demonstrate exceptional leadership in advancing accessibility.
    • In 2021, Proagrica, part of LexisNexis Risk Solutions, launched a new version of their Sirrus app, which works with or without internet connectivity, to enable agronomists and farmers to work together digitally to develop planting, fertiliser, soil sampling, crop protection and tillage recommendations – collaboration that facilitates quick responses to emerging risks.


Supply Chain

  • Managing an ethical supply chain
    • We have a Socially Responsible Supplier (SRS) programme encompassing all our businesses, supported by colleagues with expertise in operations and procurement and a dedicated SRS Director from our global procurement function.
    • We have a comprehensive Supplier Code of Conduct (Supplier Code) available in 16 languages, which we ask suppliers to sign and display prominently in the workplace. It commits them to following applicable laws and best practice in areas such as human rights, labour and the environment.
    • Through our SRS database, we track suppliers with whom we spend >$1m annually, suppliers identified as critical by the business, and those located in medium- and high-risk locations, as designated by a tool we developed with Carnstone, with a spend of >$200K for a consecutive two-year period. The tool incorporates 11 indicators, including human trafficking information from the US State Department and Environmental Performance Index results produced by Yale University and Columbia University in collaboration with the World Economic Forum. In 2021, there were 359 suppliers on the SRS tracking list, of which 44 are operating in high-risk locations and 50 in medium-risk locations. At year end, 96% of suppliers on the tracking list were signatories to our Supplier Code.
    • We have embedded the Supplier Code into our sourcing processes and have a total of 3,670 suppliers who agreed to the Supplier Code in 2021, up from 3,457 in 2020.
    • We engage a specialist supply chain auditor who undertook 111 external audits on our behalf in 2021: 28 onsite and virtual onsite audits and 83 desktop audits. Incidence of non-compliance triggers continuous improvement reports summarising audit results, with agreed remediation plans and submission dates.
  • Supplier Diversity and Inclusion
    • We are committed to proactive engagement with suppliers to ensure our supply chain reflects the diversity of our communities. In the year, we continued to focus on our US supplier diversity programme. In 2021, 3.1% of our US spend, representing over $60m, was with veteran, minority or women-owned businesses. In total, including spend with small businesses, 12.9% of US spend was with diverse suppliers.



  • In 2021, we reaffirmed our commitment to climate action by signing The Climate Pledge to become net zero by no later than 2040.
  • For Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 (work-related flights, cloud computing, home-based working and commuting) we were net zero in 2021.
  • In 2021, we reduced Scope 1 and Scope 2 (location-based) emissions by 16% from 2020. Since 2010, we have achieved a 70% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 (location-based) emissions. We also reduced total energy by 12%; water use by 19%; and waste sent to landfill from reporting locations, excluding estimated data, by 38% in the year.
  • For Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 (work-related flights, cloud computing, home-based working and commuting) we were net zero in 2021, through a combination of reduced emissions, the purchase of renewable energy and renewable energy certificates, with the balance offset through Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) credits in REDD+ carbon sequestration projects in Kenya and Brazil.
  • In 2021, we launched our new environment targets which include a target, set using the science-based target methodology, to reduce emissions by 46% in 2025 against a 2015 baseline.
  • In the year, Elsevier launched a free report, Pathways to Net Zero, exploring clean energy research trends – available on the RELX SDG Resource Centre – with a foreword by former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.
  • The most recent results from SCOPUS show that our share of citations in environmental science represented 51% of the total market.
  • In support of this year’s United Nations World Environment Day theme, Ecosystem Restoration, RELX and Elsevier released a special issue on biodiversity. This collection of more than 110 articles and book chapters from Elsevier publications was made freely available on the RELX SDG Resource Centre.
  • We use our convening power to highlight environmental innovation. The winners of Elsevier’s 2021 Chemistry for Climate Action Challenge were Pham Hong and Dinh Van Khuong from Vietnam, for their proposal to produce nano filters and biodegradable plastics from rice straws, and Brenya Isaac from Ghana, for his proposal to produce building and packaging materials from coconut waste. Each winning proposal was awarded a $25,000 prize.